My iPad Home screen (May 2018 edition)

Here’s an update on my home screen, specifically the iPad Pro 10.5″ that has become my main device.

Here’s the apps I use the most.

  • OmniFocus: I bounce between to do apps almost monthly but I’m trying to get myself settled on OmniFocus
  • WordPress: The app I use to manage my blog and add new posts
  • Music: I’m an Apple Music subscriber and aside from a few UI issues I’ve come to like it a lot
  • Tweetbot: My Twitter app of choice, I cannot stand the official app so I’m hoping that we continue to see updates to third party apps
  • Notes: My note taking app of choice, reliable sync and being able to use the Apple Pencil means that I can use it for both work and play
  • IA Writer: I use iA Writer to sketch out ideas and start the bulk of the writing on my posts
  • DuckDuckGo browser: Pretty much replaced Safari for me these days, puts privacy first and gets frequent updates
  • Marvel Unlimited: I’ve recently got back into comic books having read them growing up, Marvel Unlimited gives me everything I need, although I wish that you could download more than 12 issues when on the go

What are some of your favourite apps?

How I use my iPad Pro

When I was using my iPad the other day listening to music whilst I’m at work it dawned on me, I don’t need a MAC for much of anything these days. This led me onto Twitter and an idea of posting what I use and how I use it. I’m not going to go into masses of detail but the hardware and accessories I’ve come to rely on.

IPAD OF CHOICE

I’ve had all of the various iPad sizes but have settled on by far my favourite that has been released so far – the iPad Pro 10.5”. I had the 12.9” for a year and although I loved the screen size it always felt unwieldy and not anymore portable than a laptop. I ultimately sold it and went back to the 9.7” form factor for a bit. This was great until Apple released the 10.5”, which on face value seemed the perfect iPad for me. Slightly less bezel meaning a bigger screen in a similar body would fit the bill. I bought one on day one and haven’t regretted it since, in fact it might be my favourite Apple “computer”. This year is going to be interesting if Apple do indeed lose the home button on the iPad Pro and go with an even smaller bezel and FaceID, that will be something that is going to be very tempting. Imagine a 12.9” screen in something similar to the 10.5” body, mmmmm.

So, iPad is a Pro, 10.5” in Space Grey with 256GB of storage. I maxed it out so that I don’t run into storage anxiety, to be honest though I’ve used it. Taking it almost everywhere means that I can use it not just for being productive but have plenty of space for movies. I recommend anyone saving a little more to get the most storage you can, after all you can’t add it again later.

ACCESSORIES

In the past I didn’t spend a lot on iPad accessories but since moving to the Pro range I’ve invested in those that will help me move towards using the iPad as my only computing device.

First off I picked up a Smart Keyboard cover, which (controversially) might be my favourite keyboard of all time. I love the feel of the keys with their soft touch material and the travel seems pretty much perfect (for me) and I much prefer the experience on it over my 12” MacBook that this is looking to replace. It lives on my iPad and it goes everywhere with me. Oh, it’s also fine to wash it with soap under the tap – something I have done several times. It’s then left to dry on the sink and put in our airing cupboard with the clothes to dry off. I’ve done this several times and (touch wood) no problems so far. There, I’ve gone and cursed myself now haven’t I…

At the same time I also picked up a Smart Cover (in Red) that goes on the iPad when I’m out and about and don’t want to do any heavy typing. I’m often on the go on the weekend and being able to travel as light as possible to use the iPad for reading or light typing (on the glass) means that the Smart Cover also gets a lot of use.

My last accessory that gets the most use is the Apple Pencil. I use it for Mind Mapping (in Notes), Brain Dumping (again, in Notes or Noteability), colouring (in Pigment), sketching diagrams and making notes for my day job (in Noteability with iCloud sync). I’m no artist but when I want to relax I might sketch or doodle (in Procreate). I’m constantly amazed by the responsiveness of the Pencil and it is one of my favourite Apple products of the last 5 years (AirPods also make that list, watch for a post coming soon).

BAG

I either carry my iPad with me or put it in my beloved LowePro Hatchback (22L) that goes with me pretty much everywhere. When I want to do some “proper” photography I can take my iPad and all of my DSLR gear (CANON 70D + a few lenses) in something that I can also put a drink and day snacks.

It’s turned out to be a really great bag and anyone looking for something comfortable to take their tech around in should check out a photography bag.

WHAT DO I USE IT FOR?

I didn’t want to go into a great deal about the apps that I use, I do a lot of posts on this and I swap them out frequently. Instead I wanted to share what I’m using my iPad for and simply mention the apps.

  • Blogging: Like what I’m doing now, written up using iA Writer and uploaded using the Squarespace blog app
  • Photography: Most of my images are taken on my iPhone so the iPad makes a nice large canvas for me to edit or sort into folders. I occasionally use the SD Card reader to take images off memory cards when I’m out and about
  • Watching video: YouTube, Netflix and iTunes stuff
  • Listening to music: Sit’s next to my home office desk on most of the day, streaming to my HomePod (more on this in a later post)
  • Guitar: I use the iPad to learn new songs via the Tabs HD app and record using GarageBand, Music Memos and JamUp Pro
  • Sketching and note taking using Notes and Noteability
  • Reading comics: I do this via my Marvel Unlimited subscription

This covers everything I’m doing, the only thing I can’t easily do at the moment is record podcasts but it’s not something I’m currently doing. If you have any suggestions on ways you do this please let me know in the comments or on social. I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at my setup and please let me know how you use your iPad.

Stuff I’m using: